Elimination & Challenge Test

The Elimination & Challenge Test will help you to confirm your food sensitivity reactions, as well as reduce or eliminate symptoms. After you have identified the culprit foods, share the results with your nutritionist or healthcare provider for more assistance on dealing with (or healing/eliminating) your food sensitivities.


Step 1. Eliminate problem foods.

Do not eat ANY of your suspected foods for 14 days. You should have already identified suspected foods using the Coca Pulse Test. Eliminate ALL forms of these foods from your diet.

Become a label sleuth! Carefully read labels of prepared or packaged foods. Some foods (particularly soy, wheat, and yeast) can “hide” behind ambiguous names. Here’s a list that will help you decipher sneaky labels. In the United States, labels are required to list the 8 most common allergens (soy, egg, wheat, milk, shellfish, fish, peanut, tree nut); look for the words “May Contain” around the ingredient list. Note that corn, an increasingly common sensitivity, is not required to be clearly listed.

Step 2. Recognize withdrawal symptoms.

These may be mild or moderate in nature. Rest, exercise, pure filtered water with lemon, hot Epsom salt baths, and buffered Vitamin C can help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Buffered Vitamin C includes essential alkaline minerals. Initially follow manufacturer’s recommendations, and increase dose daily until loose stools develop – then decrease dose (this is called “bowel tolerance”).

If you become extremely uncomfortable during your elimination challenge, or feel that something just isn’t right, contact your nutritionist or healthcare practitioner for advice.

Step 3. Keep a daily food and symptom journal.

It’s important to record how you feel daily. This includes your mood, your physical state, and your bowel movements (yes, those are important to track too)! It can be a simple sentence or a long paragraph – whatever makes sense to you and your situation. The key is to be able to look back and pinpoint any changes as you follow this process.

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After you have completely eliminated your suspected foods from your diet for 14 days, it’s time to put them to the challenge!

Eating a healthy diet while performing your challenge tests will help keep your mood and blood sugars stable during the withdrawal period. Try to avoid chemicals, preservatives, additives, etc – and avoid excess sugar or caffeine, refined carbohydrates, and “junk” foods. Drink plenty of water (at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces daily).

Day 1 (Day 15): Challenge your first food.

Eat a healthy serving of only one of your suspected foods with a meal. If you get unpleasant reactions, stop eating that food. This means that your challenge test is positive, and continuing to eat that food will affect your health. Be sure to record your reactions in your journal.

Days 2 & 3: Take a break.

Do not eat any of your suspected foods. Keep logging your food, symptoms, and bowel movements in your journal.

Day 4: Repeated the challenge test with the next suspected food.

If you are still experiencing unpleasant reactions from the first challenge test, wait to challenge the next food until all of your symptoms have subsided (this can take up to two weeks, but typically 2-3 days is sufficient).

If at any point you feel lost, unsure or overwhelmed by symptoms, or need assistance through your elimination challenge, contact your nutritionist or healthcare practitioner. Your food/symptom journal will help them identify any problems and better advise you.

Where To Go From Here

Once you’ve identified all of your problem foods, share your journal and results with your nutritionist or healthcare practitioner. Food sensitivities are often reversible. Together, you can come up with a plan to properly re-introduce these foods into your diet after complete healing has taken place.

Sneaky Labeling: The Hidden Foods List
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